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Collins Statement on SCOTUS Decision to Hear Microsoft Warrant Case

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to review Microsoft v. The United States of America:

Thirty years have passed since the Electronic Communications Privacy Act became law, and what began as a pro-privacy statute has become an outdated burden in our increasingly digital and global age. The Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case does not nullify Congress’s responsibility to modernize and clarify the law.

“Legal uncertainty surrounding the Electronic Communications Privacy Act has threatened the privacy of U.S. citizens and law enforcement’s ability to fight crime. The International Communications Privacy Act offers a solution to both of these challenges by updating the framework for law enforcement to access the information it needs while shoring up privacy protections. Congress can’t afford to wait another decade to act on this issue.”

Background:

This September, Collins introduced the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA), H.R. 3718, to outline when and how law enforcement may access electronic information stored abroad.

International conflicts of law have put U.S. electronic communications service providers in the position of having to choose which country’s codes to violate because they often store information in servers located throughout the world. ICPA gives these companies a clearer legal context for their operations and strengthens the relationships among American law enforcement agents and their foreign counterparts.

The legislation would also safeguard American data housed in servers outside the U.S. by requiring warrants from domestic law enforcement investigating criminal acts as well as reciprocity from foreign governments involved in such cases.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced ICPA in the Senate this July. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is the House bill’s lead co-sponsor. Other co-sponsors of H.R. 3718 include Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

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